CHARLESTON HISTORICAL WEEKEND

March 11th – 15th

5 Days – 4 Nights

Travel to a time where men were notably gallant, women were Southern belles, and slaves worked the land to support the lavish lifestyles of their owners. Charleston, the South Carolina port city founded in 1670, is defined by cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages and pastel antebellum houses. Stroll along the Battery promenade and the Waterfront Park, cruise to Fort Sumter, a federal stronghold where the first shots of the Civil War rang out and hear the stories at the well preserved plantations and gardens.

ITINERARY

Day 1: Charleston

Your singles weekend begins when you land in Charleston Airport (CHS) and make your way to our hotel, the Embassy Suites by Hilton Charleston Historic District. A historic landmark, within the walls of the original Citadel, the Embassy Suites Historic Charleston is a grand restoration and is well located, adjacent to Marion Square, and walking distance to many major Charleston attractions.

At 5:00pm meet your fellow travelers and your singles group leader for a stroll down King Street and to get a bite to eat (not included). At more than 300 years old, named for King Charles II of England, King Street is the second most historically and architecturally significant street in downtown Charleston. Today King Street boasts some of the city’s trendiest restaurants and sophisticated cocktail scenes along with hotels, art galleries, a lively nightlife and exceptional shopping.

Day 2: Magnolia Plantation – Welcome Dinner

Founded in 1676 by the Drayton family, Magnolia Plantation has survived the centuries and witnessed the history of our nation unfold before it from the American Revolution through the Civil War and beyond. It is the oldest public tourist site in the Lowcountry, and the oldest public gardens in America, opening its doors to visitors in 1870 to view the thousands of beautiful flowers and plants in its famous gardens. Today we enjoy a self-guided tour through the historic Magnolia gardens. Some sections are more than three centuries old, allowing us to see what the plantation looked like hundreds of years ago.

The house is the third to stand here, though the original core structure was built elsewhere and floated down the river after the Civil War. Ten rooms are available to view on our half hour guided tour that shows us what life was like in the 19th century. In addition to the period pieces on display, we’ll also have the opportunity to see family heirlooms from the original owners.

Board the Nature Train, a 45-minute tram tour of the Plantation’s diverse landscapes, lakes, woodlands, marshes, and rivers while our guide describes the estate’s history and wildlife. It’s entirely possible that we will see wild animals such as an alligator or blue heron. Discover what made this land so desirable as we enjoy the natural splendor on display!

Also, included in our visit is access to the Garden Maze, Petting Zoo, Conservatory, the Old African American Cabin and the Orientation Theater which shows a 30-minute film to watch before we explore the grounds.

Welcome Dinner at Henry’s on the Market, a historic, eclectic restaurant and bar featuring live music, a beautiful southern porch and rooftop deck, an exclusive dance lounge, and a classic speakeasy bar. Since 1932, Henry’s is still the place to be.

Day 3: Aquarium – Fort Sumter Tour & Cruise – Carriage Ride – Charleston City Market

This morning we discover the wonder of water, wildlife and wild places at the South Carolina Aquarium, overlooking the Charleston Harbor with more than 5,000 amazing animals. Come face-to-face with sick and injured sea turtles in rehabilitation at the newest addition, Zucker Family Sea Turtle Recovery, and follow their journeys from rescue to rehab to release. Get a hands-on experience with stingrays, sharks, horseshoe crabs, sea stars and urchins. Learn fascinating details about the natural world at daily dive shows and animal encounters.

The first shots of the American Civil War were fired on Fort Sumter at approximately 4:30 a.m. on April 12th, 1861. Fort Sumter surrendered 34 hours later, and Union forces tried for nearly four years to take it back. Walk in the steps of those who shaped this nation alongside a National Park Ranger guide, and take in the stunning scene of historic Charleston as we cruise the harbor en route to the fort. The knowledgeable Park Rangers at Fort Sumter will relay stories of courageous heroes in action from the Civil War’s first battle.

Back in Charleston, it’s our turn to ride a horse-drawn carriage through the heart of historic Charleston on a guided tour through the heart of the city. Soak up the old fashioned charm of cobblestone streets lined with antebellum houses, lush gardens, and landmark churches as you listen to stories about Charleston history, architecture, and culture.

Tonight is a great time for food and shopping. The Charleston City Night Market is an exciting showcase of more than 100 talented artists and craftspeople, has live entertainment and a festive atmosphere. As the sun dips beneath the horizon, the night market comes alive and we’ll find everything from handcrafted soaps and candles to fine art and jewelry. Don’t worry if you develop an appetite while browsing, there are plenty of delicious food vendors from which we can choose!

Day 4: Boone Plantation

After a leisurely breakfast we will drive to visit Boone Hall Plantation, one of America’s oldest working plantations, continually growing crops for over 320 years. The mansion that exists on the Plantation today was built in 1936. Guided tours of the first floor allow us to see how this Georgian-designed home blends recovered materials and antique furnishings to recreate an atmosphere that would have surrounded a Coastal Carolina planter’s family and his guests. Enjoy a 30-40 minute motorized tour around the entire 738 acres that make up the plantation. See and learn about the history of Boone Hall and experience how it remains a working farm today.

The Black History in America Exhibit features nine historic slave cabins, built between 1790 and 1810. These cabins have been adapted to present specific time frames throughout American History. See the different aspects of daily life, how black Americans worked and lived, struggles faced and follow the historical progression from the beginning of their arrival in America up to present day.

Exploring The Gullah Culture is a unique presentation where that difference can be experienced first hand. Boone Hall is the only plantation in the Charleston area to present a live presentation of this unique culture adapted by African slaves. True descendants of the Gullah people present the history of this culture through storytelling, song, and dance that is at times educational, at times entertaining, and at times…very moving and emotional.

At the Butterfly Pavilion there are many different species of butterflies on display and witness the different stages of their life cycle. These colorful butterflies fly freely in a butterfly garden for us to experience these beautiful creatures in their natural element.

Upon our return to Charleston, enjoy free time for shopping, visiting a museum or just relaxing.

After our farewell dinner, we will uncover Charleston’s darkest secrets on an evening ghost and cemetery tour. Stroll through the atmospheric heart of the old city while our entertaining guide regales us with tales of the dark deeds, restless spirits and supernatural phenomena that make Charleston one of the most haunted cities in America. Get exclusive after-hour access to the famous Unitarian Church Graveyard, where an overgrown southern garden surrounds historic plots said to be haunted by wandering ghosts.

Day 5: Depart Charleston for Home or Join Us in Savannah

Morning at leisure for last minute shopping and exploring before check out at 12:00pm. Transfer to the airport according to your flight schedule or shuttle with us to Savannah, GA for our St. Patrick’s Day Getaway.

Charleston Historical Weekend

Price (Double Occupancy): $1385.00
Single Supplement: $700.00
Deposit: $500.00
Balance Due: January 11th

INCLUDED

4 Nights Accommodations
Breakfast Daily – Welcome & Farewell Dinner
All Activities and Tours Listed Above
Dedicated Group Leader
All Taxes and Surcharges
*Shuttle to Savannah, GA if Doing Back to Back Tours

NOT INCLUDED

Airfare
Pre-Night Hotel – Single Room – $285.00
Airport Shuttle